It has been ascertained that 3D-printing technology is to cure light-activated plastic via laser, building up layers one at a time in a time-consuming process. However, a new way of accelerating this process has been found by a tech start-up Daqri by making use of a 3-dimensional hologram.
The printer works by projecting a 3D light field into a dish of the light sensitive monomer “goo”. As a result, the plastic hardens quickly, thus allowing it to be extracted through a screen. This entire process takes just 5 seconds as opposed to a number of minutes required by an ordinary 3D printer.
The printer does not only have the enhanced speed, but it also generates monocoque objects that don’t suffer from the weaknesses found in the “grain” between layers of 3-D objects. Besides, this process would also get rid of the requirement for supporting structures presently needed to make some 3D objects.
As the technology is in its developing phase, therefore, there are still some limitations such as the machine is capable of producing only shallow forms at present; since polymerization of the plastic releases energy, thicker objects may be prone to deformation from melting.
Additionally, Daqri has started examining the hologram-producing chip for visual use. One existing prototype can render a single image on a windshield at 720p HD.